FROM THE GENERAL OVERSEER,
Pastor (Dr) E. O. Abina
LOVE (Part 2)
Sunday 11th October, 2015.
“and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul (life), and with all your mind (thought, understanding), and with all your strength.’ This is the second: ‘You shall [unselfishly] [a]love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these”
Mark 12:30-31 Amplified Bible (AMP).
The treasures we store in our heart reveals the depth of our love towards God. As a lover reads again and again the letter of his or her lover and treasures it, so we must treasure God’s word even much more. Paul admonishes in Colossians 3:16 “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom.” Keeping God’s word in our hearts energizes our love towards him as we meditate on them. Also as David puts it, it enables us to maintain a holy life. Psalms 119:11 “Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.”
No wonder when Jesus harmonized the commandments of Deuteronomy 6:5 and Leviticus 19:18 in Mark 12:30-31, when a Scribe came to him and asked him about the first commandment. Jesus concluded that the Scribe is not far from the kingdom of God. Getting into the kingdom of God is based on our love walk, how we love God and other human beings, as reflected not only in our emotions but also in our actions.
- Love God with all your soul: The soul is generally regarded as the seat of emotions, However, philosophers and theologians have continued to argue over what constitutes the human soul. We will consider emotion, intellect and will in relation to loving God. The soul is eternal. It is our inner being; it is who we are. The Amplified Bible refers to it as life. God wants us to love him with all our soul.
Our soul reveals our devotion. What are you devoted to? What you pursue reveals your devotion. David said “As the deer pants for the water brooks, So my soul pants for You, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God; When shall I come and appear before God? “(Psalm 42:1-2)
Our soul is the altar of our life through which we worship God. David said Psalms 103:1 “Bless the LORD, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name”. One of the pillars of true love is trust, if we truly love God with our emotions we will trust him. When we love God with our emotions, we place our emotions under the control of the Holy Spirit realizing that we are no longer our own but we belong to him. Gal. 2:20: “ I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me”: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. An emotion that is controlled by love operates in self-control. When we allow the love of God to override our emotions, we would respond to situations and challenges from God’s perspective. Consider David, He said in Psalms 42:5 “Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted in me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance”.
Loving God with your intellect demands that you recognize God in all you know, and in the application of our knowledge. Proverbs 1:7 “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction”. Some have excluded God from the realm of their knowledge and have concluded that there is no God. The bible categorizes such people as fools and in the New Testament as reprobates. Romans 1:28 “And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient”; We must know that no matter how much knowledge we may acquire, we cannot be wiser than God. His principles are timeless and his ways forever true.
Loving God at the level of our intellect will provoke a desire for us to know him more. We will actively pursue the knowledge of his ways, his person and greatly delight in his commandments. Paul said Philipians 3:10 “That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;”
Our will controls our decisions and actions. Here, we determine or purpose whatever we want to do. Living a life that loves God demands that we surrender our will to God and let him guide our steps. God called the children of Israel stiff-necked while they were in the wilderness because they were strong-willed in a negative direction. Our determination must be to serve God and be fully surrendered to him.
Let us pray.
- Dear God, Help me to love you with all my soul.
- Purge my soul of negative emotions.
- Let me seek to know you more and let my will be surrendered to you.